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Enforcement for credit institution


With the entry into force of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) in November 2014, banking supervision at the European and national levels changed fundamentally. As the European supervisor, the ECB supervises the significant banks directly, whereas the national competent authorities (NCAs) supervise the less significant banks.

Published: 01 January 2007

A bank is considered significant if it has a balance sheet total of more than €30 billion, if it has a share in the GDP of a Member State of more than 20%, if it has requested or received support from the ESM/EFSF or if it is one of the three largest banks within a Member State. These conditions do not apply cumulatively.

In consultation with the ECB, DNB supervises the less significant banks. To this end, we have a number of powers, such as enforcement, that are laid down in the Financial Supervision Act (Wet op het financieel toezicht – Wft). In particular, this concerns the issuing of an instruction, prescribing that certain resolutions be submitted to the annual general meeting for approval, requiring that the legal or operational structure of the bank be changed, appointing a caretaker, appointing an administrator, imposing an order subject to a penalty or an administrative fine, suspending the exercise of voting rights of shareholders or members, and depriving natural persons of the power to act for their own account.

We can impose these measures if we find that a bank is in non-compliance with the prohibitions of the Wft. We can also take enforcement measures under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act (Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme – Wwft), the Act on the Supervision of Trust Offices (Wet toezicht trustkantoren – Wtt), the Sanctions Act (Sanctiewet – Sw) and the Pensions Act (Pensioenwet – Pw).

Finally, the ECB may request us to exercise a national sanctioning power if the ECB itself cannot impose a sanction. In that case, we must consider whether and how the non-compliance would be sanctioned under national law and our own policy. This concerns in particular situations where a non-pecuniary sanction must be imposed on legal or natural persons; a pecuniary sanction (fine) must be imposed on natural persons; sanctions in case of non-compliance with national law implementing Union directives (CRD) and the situation where sanctions must be imposed on the basis of national law because the ECB does not have the necessary sanctioning power.

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